Review: Death Racers

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Starring Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, Scott “Raven” Levy, Jason Ellefson, Robert Pike Daniel, Stephen Blackheart
Directed by Roy Knyrim
Written by Andrew Helm Roy, Knyrim, Patrick Tantalo
Distributed by The Asylum
Release Date September 2008
Running time: 90 min.

The Asylum have become famous worldwide for their series of ‘mockbusters’, films with similar titles and plots to big budget studio releases. Amongst their releases are two ‘War of the Worlds’, 100 Million Years BC, Halloween Night and The DaVinci Treasure. Death Racers follows along these same lines. It comes in after Death Race, Paul W.S. Anderson’s film that features Jason Statham. Of course “Death Race” is a remake of Paul Bartel’s Death Race 2000.

Death Racers stars (more appropriate to say contains) Hip Hop / Alternative / horrible musicians The Insane Clown Posse and Scott Levy – better known to wrestling fans as probably the greatest heel of all time Raven. The plot of the movie is rather simple and we’ve seen bits of it many places. America once again has gone to the dogs and all the criminals are holed up in a massive prison built from the remains of a city. The Reaper (Levy) is now enemy numero uno because he’d like to use Sarin due to the desire to poison the nation’s water supply with the help of his scary scientist friend. You know this because he tells you and the large barrels labeled “Sarin” on them. The Governor (played by Robert Pike Daniel, who feels a Governor is best portrayed by basically by shouting his way through the movie) decides to orchestrate a “Death Race” for television, and recruits some of the harden criminals and crazies locked away in the “Red Zone”. The Race (if you can call it that) consisted of several teams.

The Severed Head Gang, consisting of Danny Satanico (Koco Limbevski) and Fred “The Hammer” (Jason Ellefson), two members of the largest gang in the United States, known for decapitating their enemies. The team is given a customized 1995 town car.

Homeland Security, consisting of Colonel Bob (Paolo Carascon) and Captain Rudy Jackson (Rick Benedetto), formerly honored, but now disgraced members of the United States Army. The team is given a vintage 1943 Willys MB.

Vaginamyte, consisting of Double-Dee Destruction (Jennifer Elizabeth Keith) and Queen B (Thereese), serial killers who seduced and murdered over 72 victims. The team is given a yellow Lotus with a black widow spider design.

Insane Clown Posse (Bruce and Utsler), whose violent form of hip hop was attributed as indirectly influencing multiple murders, acts of terrorism and a school massacre which resulted in the rappers being convicted for these murders and being dubbed as “the Charles Manson of their time”. Although the group’s music has been banned, it continues to retain a strong fanbase. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are given an ice cream truck customized with a meat grinder, machine guns and “all the bling-bling these two Detroit locals could find”.

The mission of these racers is to make it to The Reaper’s hideout and bring him back dead or alive. They also will receive 10 points apiece for each prisoner they kill along their way. The contestants are hardly racing and make frequent stops with one another. In these stops they drop subpar dialogue as they argue or fight off other prisoners.

In this movie you don’t get the major explosions that you do in the original movies. What The Asylum does give you is copious amounts of swearing and violence. This is all done with low production quality and effects. The makers seem to pay careful attention to the editing. There are plenty of jump cuts and noises throughout.

The Insane Clown Posse (ICP) play their own stage persona now imprisoned in the future (yet looking as if they had not aged a day) for the chaos their music created. At every chance they swear, give crude gestures and attack people with their handy hatchets. Nobody is safe from the attacks or their acting. The supporting cast is equally as crazy as the clowns. Together they slowly wind through the movie leaving violence, bad acting and cheesy dialogue as they go. Dialogue such as:

“You’re a dumb ass. You drive like a bigger dumb ass, dumb ass.”
“That car can go from zero to suck my dick in 0.2 seconds.”

Probably the most unbearable of all things in the movie is the soundtrack. It is of course all ICP all the time. The film look cheaply made and poorly thought out. The number of mistakes in Death Racers just seemed lazy. There also appeared to be a large amount of recycled material from within the film—same matte shots—and even other Asylum productions.

To be honest (though I enjoy Asylum films) the only reason I watched this selection was because of Raven. In full disclosure he is my favorite wrestler of all time and I couldn’t pass up seeing him as a main baddie. That being said he couldn’t save the movie. His acting did not seem inspired. I know he is a wrestler but I’ve seen his promos and seen him channel something special behind the mic. Another flaw was that we really only get snippets of The Reaper in between the racers. In these small bits we get an over-carbonated attempt to show just what an evil guy he is. One way they show how bad he was he killed a mouse in the beginning. Overall there can be nothing said for the quality of the acting by anyone in the movie. It feels lower budget than the effects do.

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What I learned from Death Racers

Every Ice cream truck should be fitted with a meat grinder on its grill
A vibrator is essential to any Death Race.
Sarin comes in big barrels marked ‘Sarin’.
A ‘savage run’ is bad.
A Death Race is good.
There is a bell that dings every time you kill someone.
Every few minutes you should shout “death race” in your movie.
A death race wasn’t really a race at all.

1 Bela Lugosi out of 5.

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I disclosed that bit about Raven being my favorite wrestler because I think it will influence my rating. One Bela Lugosi solely for sentimental reasoning and Raven.

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~ by ClevelandPoet on August 24, 2010.

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